Group’s attack on Ryan over abortion vote is misguided

Group’s attack on Ryan over abortion vote is misguided


Democrats for Life’s decision to remove Congressman Tim Ryan from its advisory list should serve as a wake-up call to Ohioans who are tired of politics as usual. (“Ryan loses favor with pro-life group,” July 14).

Congressman Ryan and I disagree on the issue of legal abortion, yet I commend him for working with his colleagues in Washington to move this debate past the divisive attacks that have dominated the political landscape for too long.

Congressman Ryan supports improving women’s access to contraception and ensuring our young people receive fact-based, traditional sex education. These common-ground solutions help prevent unintended pregnancy and thus reduce the need for abortion.

Democrats for Life and other abortion opponents’ refusal to support birth control is out of sync with the values of Ohioans, as is their attempt to distort Congressman Ryan’s vote on a bill related to Washington, D.C.

Last week, Congressman Ryan voted to allow the elected leaders of the nation’s capital to decide whether to use locally raised funds — not federal tax dollars — to provide reproductive health services to women who live in that city.

In short, Congressman Ryan’s description of his vote is accurate, while the anti-abortion groups’ attack against him, much like their opposition to contraception, misses the mark entirely.

KELLIE COPELAND, Executive director

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio


A dog and pony show


Your story on U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s public meeting on health care was probably more revealing than intended. Mr. Ryan says that he was at the meeting to listen to the health-care concerns of his constituents. But the story reveals that Mr. Ryan himself carefully selected who would speak at the meeting, based upon their ability to present a touching story that fits his political agenda. This isn’t listening; this is showmanship.

Carefully excluded from the presentation were the thousands of Mahoning Valley residents whose private insurance plans would be driven from the marketplace by the government-imposed public “option” favored by Mr. Ryan. Another defender of the health- care plan gave the none-too-reassuring defense that “the government can’t make it any worse.” Keep in mind that this is the same government that was elected to office with the slogan “Yes we can!”

Finally, Mr. Ryan disagrees with the professional economists at the Congressional Budget Office who report that the plan will cost much more than the already daunting price that the president has claimed. Since Mr. Ryan also voted for the so-called stimulus bill with the promise that it would cap unemployment at 8 percent (it’s now 9.5 percent nationally, and 12.8 percent locally), he’ll forgive us if we ask for a second opinion concerning this prescription.


Liberty Township